Green Room

White politician (D-NY) defends wearing blackface at party

posted at 2:41 pm on February 26, 2013 by

If this guy were a Republican, we’d have a national story on our hands — and MSNBC would run ’round the clock, paint-by-numbers outrage programming for at least a week.  Think of the dog whistles.  Alas, it’s merely a local story about a misguided state representative from Brooklyn (whose party affiliation went conveniently unmentioned in the initial radio report I heard about the controversy):

A prominent state assemblyman from Brooklyn defended himself on Monday after wearing blackface to a party he hosted to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim, saying he did not mean to offend anyone. The assemblyman, Dov Hikind, a Democrat and a longtime power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, wore an Afro wig, brown makeup, an orange jersey and sunglasses as part of a costume that he said represented a “black basketball player.” “The main objective that I have is not to be recognizable,” Mr. Hikind said in an interview. “Of course the intention was not to offend anyone. That’s the last thing that I ever imagined that would happen, to be very honest. It never crossed my mind.” Mr. Hikind had hundreds of guests to his home on Sunday, and as he said he had done in past years, he enlisted a professional makeup artist to help him with his costume…On Monday morning, after The New York Observerpublished an article about the costume, Mr. Hikind found himself at the center of a firestorm. He initially brushed off the attention, writing on his blogthat it was a product of “political correctness to the absurd” and adding, “There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.”

If nothing else, at least Hikind has learned a valuable lesson from the whole tempest:

“Next year I was thinking I’d be an Indian,” he said. “But you know, I’ve changed my mind about that. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Somebody will be offended.”

It’s Native American, man.  But good move; dressing up as one is apparently more unforgivable these days than baselessly claiming to be one to enhance your professional development.

UPDATE – To be clear, I’m not calling Hikind a racist.  This could just be a case of extreme naivety or very poor judgment.  My main point is to underscore just how much media protection one simple letter (D) can confer upon an embattled politician.

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The CBC will give him a pass.

RickB on February 26, 2013 at 2:47 PM

“I’m a Democrat. That’s all the excuse I need.”

Aitch748 on February 26, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Er, this guy is almost a Republican. He endorsed Romney and Bob Turner.

IR-MN on February 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Example #87,932,401,275,026 that liberals have no sense of humor.

GWB on February 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM

IR-MN, and he’s pretty socially conservative. But that ‘D’ next to his name is awfully protective.

Guy Benson on February 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

“Next year I was thinking I’d be an Indian,” he said. “But you know, I’ve changed my mind about that. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Somebody will be offended.”

Dot or Feather?

Ben Hur on February 26, 2013 at 2:55 PM

He should dress as a Reform Jew and come with a shiksa. :(

Seth Halpern on February 26, 2013 at 3:02 PM

has anyone told Robert Downey Jr.? He spent almost an entire movie iin blackface recently.

Curmudgeon on February 26, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Maybe he DID want to dress up as an Indian, like maybe the gameshow host in Slumdog Millionaire.

Tom Servo on February 26, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Here in Toronto, it’s apparantly horrifying to have a Cowboys and Indians party … cause you know, it’s racist and stuff

CityFish on February 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

democrats cannot be or do anything racist since they are the caretakers of the transfer payments to minorities.

tom daschle concerned on February 26, 2013 at 4:08 PM

scratch a liberal and find a racist

burserker on February 26, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Another real racist for the “durr hurr you belong on Stormfront” liberal slimebags from Kos.

MelonCollie on February 26, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Painting your face black should not be considered racist, because it is not racist. So what if he wanted to dress up like a black basketball player?

Grow up, people.

bluegill on February 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

UPDATE – To be clear, I’m not calling Hikind a racist. This could just be a case of extreme naivety or very poor judgment. My main point is to underscore just how much media protection one simple letter (D) can confer upon an embattled politician.

Why do you have to make a statement like this?… That is the problem with our side, they have always to find a damn way to ease the blow on the f***ing liberals… The guy is a white democrat racist like most whites democrats are… In fact the only way the democrats are able to win elections is because they have succeeded into the absolute destruction of the black society in America and made the majority of them totally depending on taxpayers handouts for survival, they have destroyed the fabric of any decency in that society… All this so 95% blacks will vote for the democrats… This is not just racism, it is pure evil….

mnjg on February 27, 2013 at 8:15 AM